tv CNN Newsroom CNN January 15, 2012 4:00pm-5:00pm EST
to know. head to amazon.com or barnes & noble.com right now to pick up your copy. you can stay connected to us 24-7 on twitter. @alivelshi. the show's handle is @cnnyourmoney. have a great weekend. hello, everyone. thanks so much for joining us. i'm fredricka whitfield. we're going to look at the 2012 political contenders. but first, an update on the top stories. the search continues in the wreckage of the italian cruise liner that ran aground. this as two more bodies have been found. five people are now confirmed dead. more than a dozen people are still unaccounted for. iced in, nome, alaska, is getting some fuel. an american icebreaker helped a russian tanker get through the frozen barring see to deliver gas and oil. there is still a mile of ice
between the tanker and the harbor. fuel will have to be piped in through a hose that is being laid out on top of the ice. on what would have been dr. martin luther king jr.'s birthday, a wreath was laid at the new king memorial at the mall today. the interior department announced a correction will soon be made on an inscription there which paraphrases a quote from king. and now to the2012 contenders and the race to the white house. a new cnn sfch/orc poll shows m romney as a clear front-runner, 34%, ahead of newt gingrich. another poll saids light on the possible reason a huge majority of republicans, 71%, said they would rather nominate a candidate that can beat barack obama in the fall than a candidate who agrees with them on the issues.
romney's lead isn't set in stone. 56% of gop voters say they may change their minds before the primaries. the next big gop contest is just six days away. south carolina holds the first southern primary on saturday, and romney does not hold a commanding lead there. the latest arg survey shows him in a statistical dead heat with newt gingrich. shannon travis is live from myrtle beach, where tee party groups are holding a convention and, shannon, i understand there have been some pretty tense moments there. tell us more. >> yeah, there were some tense moments here at the spring may resort where they're holding their first ever tea party convention here in south carolina, fred. for the most part the purpose of the event was for tea party activists to kind of network, get to know each other, hear from political heavyweights, senator jim demint spoke to the
crowd. not too long into this convention, to the start of the convention, things turned a little ugly against mitt romney. you had a few tea party activists get up and say by no uncertain terms that mitt romney should not be the candidate who gets the nomination. take a listen at what -- what one man said, a prom needn't tea party activist. take a listen to this. >> there is a candidate that can beat obama in a debate and what is his name? it is newt gingrich. romney is going to lose to owe boum obama. no doubt about that in my mind. that's my view. >> this guy is a newt gingrich supporter, but to but rees his point, fred, he showed this -- it was actually a pretty disturbing picture, it basically showed a hunter in the water with a bunch of dead seals surrounding him and it was -- trying to make the point that these tea party activists need to unite around one candidate,
in order to stop mitt romney. i'll read you one quote from the picture. the tea party must join behind one candidate or romney will win the nomination and obama will win. this was very, very graphic image, so graphic that a few people, a few people got up and walked out. i spoke with one woman and she said that not so much that she is a mitt romney supporter, but she was, one, bothered by the picture, and, two, it was her understanding that at this convention that people wouldn't be coming up, talking about the pros and cons of different candidates. this just shows you the division in the tea party. it will be interesting, fred, tomorrow, when governor nikki haley, who is a big tea party booster, comes in here and speaks to the crowd tomorrow morning. she is endorsing or has endorsed mitt romney. fred? >> so, shannon, one has to wonder if the republican party as a whole there in south carolina feels like it is in sync with the tea party movement or representatives of the tea party there in south carolina. >> well, i can tell you this much, that a few people got up
on stage and said, what will happen here in south carolina in this primary will set the stage for what will happen eventually in terms of who will be the nominee. a lot of speakers said that. in terms of if they're in sync, they feel the conservative values are reflected in south carolina more than they were in new hampshire, more than they were in iowa. whether or not they're in sync is up to anyone's guess. these -- a lot of these tea party activists here feel like it should be decided here. >> shannon travis, thanks so much from myrtle beach. appreciate that. >> shannon just said it, south carolina governor nikki haley won her seat with tea party support, but none of the states' major tea party groups have endorsed any of the presidential contenders. just nikki haley has so far. joining me now, political columnist matt tyree. you heard about the division within the tea party. is this a real reflection of what we're seeing just across the state? >> well, it is. it is. south carolina is a little bit different than certainly what we have seen in new hampshire and
iowa. it is really three countries as i say. you have the northwestern part of the state, very evangelical and then the center part is business-like. and then the southern and southeastern part around charlotte there is retired military and retirees from other places around the country. you don't have just evangelicals controlling politics in south carolina. it is more of a melting pot, more conservative than many republican states, but more symbolic of most of the red states that will go through in the next few weeks. >> evangelicals make up 40% of the electorate there in south carolina. and does that mean that, you know, regardless of where it is that evangelicals may be determining who wins in south carolina? >> for example, let's look at john mccain in four years ago. mccain did well because he carried that area where charleston, the military area on the coast and did well in the center and eeked out as many evangelical votes as he could, which weren't that money. mike huckabee carried all the
major counties in the northwest and the southern portion where you have the evangelical hold. huckabee was still under 30%, around 33% or whatever. not enough to beat mccain. i think that the most part you'll see republicans and south carolina shock people, be a little more mainstream, mainstream as far as republicans are that is conservative, but not necessarily controlled by the religion. >> yesterday, we saw a vote coming out of texas, social conservatives who say we're throwing our support collectively behind rick santorum. how influential might that be on a south carolina primary? >> i think it could be very influential, i have to say, in order to be a full disclosure. i was newt gingrich's political chairman when he was speaker. i think that might have hurt the speaker a little bit. not as much as people think, but gingrich needed the evangelicals to fall behind him thinking he may be the one to challenge mitt romney. whether or not that will hurt gingrich or not we'll see when the polls come out. i think it really helps anybody, mitt romney, because it keeps the conservative, quote, wing,
divided up. >> the gap between romney's lead and newt gingrich's, you know, gaining on him, just about four points depending what poll you're looking at there in south carolina. if the tea party movement says we're going to throw our support behind either one of those two candidates in particular, is that going to make the difference to put that person over the top? >> what it could do -- >> is the tea party that powerle? >> it is more of a state of mind. that movement is made of a lot of people who agree with their concepts and precepts and what they say. it could be a balancing act. we may see some votes go to santorum from the meeting in texas, while some other people may go to newt gingrich or others after the tea party convention we see today and tomorrow. >> matt, thanks so much. we'll hear from you again. while south carolina is one, voting electorate, come, what, six days from now, in that primary, we're going to see in florida there is going to be another primary that could be potentially pivotal and you'll
help us discern the difference with between these two primaries. thanks so much. as i mentioned after holding a weekend meeting in texas, a group of 150 conservative christian leaders announced their candidate of choice, rick santorum. i talked to the meeting's moderator, tony perkens, after saturday's vote and he explained why the group decided to coalesce around one candidate. >> the leaders that were there, it is time to get off the sidelines, move into the process, and express support for the candidate that is most conservative. what happened here this weekend is that the campaigns had surrogates that came and spoke on behalf of the candidates. and then there was discussion and then a series of balloting. there was passionate and enthusiastic support for rick santorum, for rick perry, and for newt gingrich. but in the end, what we had super majority expressing support for rick santorum. >> were there certain issues
that were being measured, certain criteria that was really important for this group collectively to judge any of these candidates on? >> you know, that's an interesting question, because there was a discussion not just about social issues, but a discussion about economic issues, about the free market system, and it was not a focus on the negative of what are not right about candidates there was very little if any discussion about mitt romney. rather, the discussion was on the future. and what america needs to become great again and to restore the family, to restore fiscal responsibility and a strong presence internationally. and so the focus gravitated toward the candidate that they thought was best able to carry forward the conservative banner on all fronts, and in the end, they -- a super majority believed that rick santorum was the candidate to do that. >> and be sure to tune in thursday night to cnn to hear
the candidates in their own words, the cnn southern republican leadership conference debate comes your way thursday night, 8:00 eastern time, right here on cnn. >> rick santorum and other republican presidential candidates are talking tough about iran. now, our reporter who has been to tehran several times tells the candidates what they should know about that country. this is an rc robotic claw.
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scientist in iran, many of the contenders have been talking about that country's threat to the united states and the prospect of iran developing nuclear weapons and their capabilities. we'll start with newt gingrich and hear from rick santorum. >> we have an administration which refuses to tell the truth about the threats to this country. we're faced with an iranian dictatorship whose leaders would cheerfully use nuclear weapons on us, with enthusiasm they would use nuclear weapons on us. i just give you one idea of the test. if somebody is so fanatic that they would put a bomb on their body and walk into a grocery store or a mall or a bus and blow themselves up in order to kill you, why would you think they wouldn't do that with a nuclear weapon? the time to stop the iranians is before they have a nuclear weapon. we should adopt strategies that
are nonmilitary, but we should adopt strategies that replace the current government of iran before we end up with a nuclear weapon in an american city. this is a very serious crisis of our civilization and the current president doesn't have a clue. what he's doing is so profoundly wrong that it is almost unimaginable. >> who is to say any foreign scientist who participates in the development of this nuclear program should be treated as an enemy combatant, just like an al qaeda one. and as a result of that, he's subject to, well, what happened to that scientist just the other day. that was an iranian scientist. i have been deliberately quiet on that subject. but with respect to the other scientists, i think that the deliberate policy, open policy, of the united states should be that if you're coming to iran to help them develop the weapon against us, it is different than
if you're a scientist in iran being forced by your government to act on the behalf of the country. and we're going to treat you differently. secondly, we need to be very clear, iran, you will not get a nuclear weapon. and we will use whatever force necessary if we believe that you are at that proximate point of getting so to stop you from getting it and that means air strikes, missile strikes, whatever is necessary to degrade that capability. >> rick santorum there and newt gingrich. he's talking about iran's possible development of a nuclear weapon. and how the u.s. would respond if they were to be president. so reza sayah travelled to iran many times and knows the country and its leadership well. he shares with us the top two or three things that american presidential contenders need to know about iran. >> reporter: all these republican candidates with the exception of ron paul have taken a very tough stance against iran and its nuclear program. they have suggested everything
from covert assassination of nuclear scientists to military action. this type of rhetoric makes for good tv, makes the candidates look tough in debates. but if solving the iran puzzle was that easy, you probably would have seen military action long ago. the fact is, u.s. iran relations are complicated, ground realities in iran are complicated. and it looks like the candidates are either unaware of this or choosing to ignore it. there is one thing these candidates should remember, over the past ten years, sanctions, tough talks, and threats by the west have not worked against iran. and if there is military action, there could be consequences that the american voter would feel. first off, iran could send oil prices through the roof, hit back against u.s. interests in places like afghanistan, and iraq. and on top of that, there is no guarantee that a military strike would stop iran's nuclear program. another thing for these candidates to remember is that despite all the alarm about iran
being a threat, this is not a country that is an existential threat to the u.s., to israel or any u.s. ally. the fact is its military doesn't match up, the islamic republic is never attacked another country and if they do attack, its leadership would know that would be a death wish. another thing for these candidates to remember is that two years ago, iran and the west were close to reaching an agreement that would adjust iran's nuclear program. they had agreed to send out some of their enriched uranium. that deal fell through but they maintained they're willing to talk and considering there is very few good options remaining when it comes to iran, more and more analysts are saying these candidates should include talking to iran as part of their strategy. fredricka? >> thanks so much, reza sayah, talking about foreign affairs and the economy. all the candidates will be facing off before next saturday's primary in south carolina. the cnn southern republican leadership conference debate comes your way thursday night, 8:00 eastern time, right here on
cnn. mitt romney, still leads the republican candidates in the polls. he's talking about reinvigorating america's economy and creating jobs when we come right back. >> the other day at a campaign event, mitt romney told the crowd he's half mexican. yeah. which means that half of him will not be voting for mitt romney. g good. it fits you so perfectly... it fits you. you wake up and you're revived and rejuvenated. it's just like wow! tempur-pedic the most highly recommended bed in america. tempur-pedic is rated #1 in comfort. sleep satisfaction. and back support. it fits the curvature of your body but you don't sink in and it is firm. proprietary tempur material suppresses motion transfer. this means that when you get in or out of bed, you won't disturb your partner.
tebow was slinging the pigskin down the field. you know, i'll bet you dollars to doughnuts the broncos give my beloved patriots quite a run for their money on the gridiron tomorrow. let me tell you, i'll be watching that game along with my five human sons and my expectation is that i will enjoy it very, very much. what's that? it's being played tonight? well, that's wonderful news. the fact is the whole family and i love to watch sporting events on television of a weekend, so normal are we. >> all right, that was jason sadakis portraying mitt romney on "saturday night live." every sunday we're spending this hour of the "cnn newsroom" to allow you to hear from the contenders as they spell out their vision for the united states. mitt romney's support among conservatives has increased, while among moderates, it has decreased. this according to the latest cnn/orc poll that shows more
conservatives support him since december support among moderates has gone down. among republicans, they think romney is the best to handle the economy. here is mitt romney sharing his vision for america with students from the university of south carolina aiken. >> i actually think it helps to have had a job if you want to create jobs. and i've had jobs. i've worked in the private sector. i know how the private sector works. i know how jobs come. i know how they go. i want to get jobs for americans. and, by the way, i'm concerned about our poor in this country. we have to make sure that the safety net for our poor is always strong and able to help those that can't help themselves. i'm not terribly worried about the very wealthiest in our society. they're doing just fine. i'm concerned about the vast middle class of our nation. the 90% of americans, 95% of americans who are having tough times. this president has presided over an economy where the median income has dropped 10% in the
last four years. where we now have 25 million people out of work or stop looking for work. and if you've been out of work for a long period of time, you know that these numbers are not just statistics. these numbers are real people and real suffering. and he's going to say the economy is getting better. thank heavens it is getting better. it is getting better not because of him, it is in spite of him and what he's done. and we want to help those people that are really suffering and struggling and make sure our kids know the future is brighter than the past. how are you going to balance the budget? what are you going to do? all the people run for president say they're going to cut spending and then never do. well, i do have a record. i was -- i was governor for four years in massachusetts, a slightly democrat state as you probably know. my legislature was 85% democrat. but you know what, we balance the budget every year. we put in place a $2 billion
rainy day fund by the time i left office. and the approach i took there is the approach i'll take in washington. i will take all of the programs that exist in washington, and i will ask this question, this test for each one. is this program so critical, it is worth borrowing money for china to pay for it? and on that basis, we're going to get rid of a lot of programs, even some we like, we got to cut back washington. and i will work to get good jobs back. and a lot of people want to talk about how we create jobs. by the way, it is not to walk away from free enterprise. it is not to say that there is something wrong with the free market system. no, it is instead to hold fast to that system and make it work for the american people. how do you do that? you make america the best place in the world for innovators and entrepreneurs and job creators. by having tax rates that are
competitive, by having regulators and regulations that are up to date, and that encourage the economy as opposed to dampen it. you make sure we open new markets for american goods and you crack down on cheaters like china when they don't follow the rules of fair trade and free trade. and -- [ applause ] and you take care -- you make sure that we take advantage of our natural resources and energy. we're an energy rich nation, we're acting like an energy poor nation. i will open up gas and oil and coal and nuclear renewables. we got to take advantage of our energy. >> and be sure to tune in to cnn thursday night to hear the candidates in their own words. the cnn southern republican leadership conference debate comes your way thursday at 8:00 p.m. eastern time. the south carolina primary is less than a week away and while the florida primary is at the end of this month, the
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[oinking] [hissing] [ding] announcer: cook foods to the right temperature using a food thermometer. 3,000 americans will die from food poisoning this year. check your steps at foodsafety.gov. all right, welcome back to this special hour of the "cnn newsroom." we're focusing on politics, allowing you to hear from the 2012 presidential contenders. confessional newt gingrich told the church congregation he isn't perfect and that he has baggage. here is how he wrapped up a 40-minute speech today at a south carolina church. >> i don't come here today as a perfect person. i don't come here today without, i guess, the advertisement of baggage. i am a person. i have lived a fairly long life.
at 68, i'm a grandfather. i'm very close to my daughters and i'm very close to my wife, i'm very close to my son-in-laws, i'm very close to my grandchildren. i am coming to you today as somebody who has the courage to stand up and tell the truth, somebody who is prepared to fight for the america you and i believe in, and somebody who, in the words of pope john paul ii, literally does believe, be not afraid, not have courage, courage is what you have when you have fear, if you have faith in god, you can be not afraid. >> candidate rick santorum is campaigning heavily in south carolina as well after getting a big boost from faith leaders meeting in texas this weekend. cnn political reporter peter hamby joins us now from florence. you're following santorum. what is he talking about, what is he focusing on today after getting that real boost, that shot in the arm from the group in texas. >> absolutely. and he talked a lot about his faith today. you hear that a lot when you follow rick santorum around the campaign trail, and conservative
states like iowa and south carolina. he talks about how the country is sort of founded on morals and faith and president obama's quite frankly taken that away from people. it is a dove tail nicely with his endorsement yesterday from all the evangelical and social conservative leaders in texas. we heard something new from him today, a super pac supporting mitt romney, running a television ad, saying rick santorum supports the right of felons to vote. rick santorum basically said, quote/unquote, that's yuck, at the speech he just gave here in florence. he said yes in the senate he did vote to allow former felons who have served their sentences to vote, but says the ad is distorting his record. he's really going hard at mitt romney on the campaign trail, fred. >> so, you know, santorum came in fifth in that latest american research group poll, which shows, you know, very tiny margin between the leader romney and newt gingrich. so how is santorum trying to gather more support?
what is he actually doing or how is he trying to appeal to certain members of the electorate in south carolina? >> yeah, it is sort of a two-pronged approach for him. one is the grassroots oriented handshake kind of retail campaigning that he perfected in iowa and south carolina. he's been campaigning here for president since 2009. he's basically been almost every county here and met a lot of people. his campaign realizes that you can't just win in south carolina, with the retail stuff, you have to go on television. they have bought heavily on tv. there is a lot of mailers and radio ads that, you know, just touting his basically his record, his record on the armed services committee, they believe that gives them an edge on the foreign policy front, and, again, his basically core values and beliefs. he talks about being opposed to abortion a lot and that can carry a lot of weight with social conservatives here. and that's really the share of the vote he's focused on, the social conservatives, fredricka. >> peter hamby, thanks so much. appreciate that. >> so after south carolina, next
stop for republican presidential candidates, florida. the contenders are reaching out to hispanic voters in the sunshine state. in particular, let's bring in columnist matt tower back again. the tone in florida, far different from south carolina. that primary, january 31st, last day of the month, how you will these contenders try to appeal to particularly latinos, hispanic voters in florida. what are the issues that will most resonate? >> good question. first of all, we don't know who will be contending. after south carolina is over, we'll see some of the candidates dropping off. i think if newt gingrich stays where the arg poll shows that you're mentioning today and the real clear politics average this is what i look at, if that continues to happen and gingrich does come in second, he may try to go to florida hoping that santorum and the other candidates will just be out of gas and not divide the conservative vote anymore. as to the hispanic vote, what you asked about, there are two hispanic votes in florida. you have a cuban-american vote
which has long been a very conservative republican vote. it is becoming a little less so as the younger cuban-americans take their place. it is still pretty conservative, pretty republican. then you have a hispanic vote out of orlando that actually comes more out of puerto rico. that really is not a vote that goes to republicans very much and they don't play very much power in terms of republican primary. so the candidates will probably be playing more and reaching out to hispanic voters, playing to the cuban-american issues, issues of castro, cuba, those sort of things and won't be in favor of trying to make relations between the u.s. and cuba better because that goes over not very well in that cuban community. >> the campaign will be very adwr aggressive in florida. super pac money is helping some candidates in particular. but it is not just a matter of the latino, the hispanic vote. we're talking about an electorate made up of retirees, transplants, a lot of northerners who made florida their home. so how will thighs candidaes thy
to shape their dialogue? >> almost everybody has visited florida at some time. let me give you the travelers guide to politics in florida gop side. from the panhandle to jacksonville, very conservative voters, but they don't vote just on religion they vote on the economy. on the center of the state, you have the i-4 corridor from tampa st. pete to orlando to the coast. those are moderate to conservative republicans, they decide the race except for one thing, down to the southwest, call your county, which is the area of naples, the area everyones like on the southwest side, very conservative, very intra traditional republican, they're powerful as well. on the east coast, where we think democrats live and all democratic votes there are more republicans and some of those counties like miami-dade, most of the other counties put together. so really, you have to deal with every type of republican view, from very conservative in the north and northeast down to the less conservative on the east coast. many media markets, a lot of money to be spent.
>> interesting. in many ways the conventional wisdom is florida, florida, florida that determines the fall elections. but you think that determining the nominee will come perhaps before florida. >> if there is a knockout blow if romney wins in south carolina and gingrich doesn't appear to be strong and santorum doesn't, they're going to have a hard time. if one of them does emerge, they can go to florida and take him on and have a chance. but they better have a lot of money and be prepared because romney will have the momentum. >> thank you. appreciate that. one contender is hoping to get more support and now that primaries are happening in the south, we'll talk about rick perry, his economic solution straight ahead.
allow me to insert some caution in assessing the republican presidential campaign right now. as much as so many folks are already suggesting mitt romney has it all but wrapped up, let me suggest it is not over yet. sure romney has a solid organization with lots of campaign cash. he's also blessed with a strong super pac that can inflict major damage on his gop rivals. and beyond that, he has some strong political instincts and a wonderful wife and family who are major weapons. but he will have to fight very hard to win south carolina despite the fact that the governor nikki haley is on his
side. newt gingrich and his super pac are going after him big time. ron paul, rick perry, jon huntsman, rick santorum, they are doing the same. these next few you days will be critical for romney. he'll face nonstop attack ads. he'll have to fight back and it will get even uglier. but unlike gingrich in iowa, romney does have the financial resources to fight back with television commercials in south carolina. romney, like john mccain in south carolina, four years ago, does have another asset, the conservative tea party, anyone but romney vote will be split up among his rivals. in 2008, mike huckabee probably would have won the gop primary in south carolina if fred thompson hadn't divided up the conservative evangelical vote. that gave the state to mccain, the same could happen now in romney's favor. bottom line, in all of this for romney, the more the merrier. keep as many candidates in the
that means the other 99% are going, you can quit. >> that's jay leno on the republican candidate rick perry. so we continue to delve into the issues on the presidential campaign every sunday. we're spending this hour of the "cnn newsroom" to allow you to hear from the contenders as they spell out their ideas of the future for the united states. republican contender rick perry is focusing on the economy and job creation as he stumps across south carolina. >> we're the kind of people that reject the notion of this washington nanny state and we accept the premise that the federal government should do a few things and do those few things really well. and in the case of the federal government, the primary responsibilities are to secure the border, deliver the mail, preferably on time and on saturdays, and stay in the military. you know, one out of three in my opinion is not good enough, of those things that they should be doing. the idea that they have failed so abysmally of securing our
border, a lot of the problems we see, whether it is the drugs or the weapons or the illegal immigration that is occurring is because washington has failed. and one of their constitutional duties. you know, the only difference between washington republican insiders and washington democrat insiders is that they all spend all your money. the republicans just feel bad about it. but they're still spending too much money and that's the issue. and they still use government as the central agent of change in our lives. and if we replace obama with another washington insider, we're not going to expect to see a change in washington, d.c. i, again, am the outsider who is willing to go to washington, to step on some toes to completely overhaul how washington works.
the government that we need is a smaller government. not a larger government. and the reason is for america to get off its back and get back on its feet again, if you will, private citizen, private entrepreneurs will be the ones that have to be empowered, they have to be freed up from overtaxation, overregulation, overlitigation. for the last 11 years, those are the simple premises that we put in place in my home state. there is a reason that we have been the leading job creating state in the nation over the last four or five years in particular. i think almost 40% of the jobs created last year were in my home state. it didn't happen by accident t was because we kept the taxes low and the regulatory climate predictable. we had the system that protected against frivolous lawsuits and then we got out of the way and
let the private sector do what the private sector does so well, create the jobs, which create the wealth. we followed the simple model. it started with a simple premise, don't spend all the money. >> just two days before the south carolina primary, you can hear more from the candidates. the cnn southern republican leadership conference debate comes your way thursday night 8:00 p.m. eastern time right here on cnn. all right, many of the political ads you'll be seeing on television are not from the campaigns themselves. they're actually from so-called super pacs. we'll explain next. i have twins, 21 years old. each kid has their own path. they grow up, and they're out having their life. i really started to talk to them about the things that are important that they have to take ownership over. my name's colleen stiles, and my kids and i did our wills on legalzoom. [ shapiro ] we created legalzoom to help you take care of the ones you love. go to legalzoom.com today
and complete your will in minutes. at legalzoom.com, we put the law on your side. can you enjoy vegetables with in m sauce. and still reach your weight loss goals? you can with green giant frozen vegetables. over twenty delicious varieties have sixty calories or less per serving and are now weight watchers-endorsed. try green giant frozen vegetables with sauce. i understand you need a little help with your mortgage, want to avoid foreclosure. candy? um-- well, you know, you're in luck. we're experts in this sort of thing, mortgage rigamarole, whatnot. why don't we get a contract? who wants a contract? [honks horn] [circus music plays] here you go, pete. thanks, betty. betty: we're out of toner. announcer: if you're facing foreclosure, talk to the right people. speak with hud-approved housing counselors free of charge at...
the story of greed, playing the system for a quick buck. a group of corporate raiders led by mitt romney. more ruthless than wall street. >> newt was fined $300,000 for ethics violations, took $1.6 million from freddie mac, and co-sponsored a bill with nancy pelosi that would have given $60 million a year to a u.n. program supporting china's brutal one-child policy. >> so those are some of the negative ads on the airwaves in south carolina. they're paid by the super pacs, not by the campaigns themselves. so what are super pacs and how
do they work? i asked high magazine's michael sheerer that very question. >> since the 1970s after watergate, only candidates really have been able to advertise right before an election with what they call express advocacy, elect this guy, defeat this guy. and in 2010 supreme court, another court -- and now for first time in 30 years, we have a situation in which any group of people can come in with unlimited dollars, they can actually be supported by the candidate and the candidate can come to their fund-raisers, can't actually ask for the check they can say they're going to follow the strategy of the candidate, even if they don't talk privately with the candidate, and they can advertise with as much money as they want right up to the day of the election. you have a situation in which the actual candidate campaigns that are in south carolina are not advertising with as much money as the super pacs supporting the candidates. >> in some cases we have heard numbers like 1.9 million in
south carolina for mitt romney, and newt gingrich is really in the lead with getting the most super pac money for such ads or campaigning in south carolina. is that what your sources are telling yo huh? >> he got a huge check a week and a half ago from las vegas billionaire who has been a long time supporter. >> in the amount of $5 million, right. >> $5 million check. and they said they're going to spend more than $3 million in south carolina. we haven't seen the buys happen yet. they're spending a lot of money there now. in the end, we don't know which super pac will beat which super pac. it is clear the super pacs are the sort of television voice of this campaign. in a way that just wouldn't have been allowed two or three years ago. >> and in your article here in this, you know, "time" magazine, part of the headline is, secretive new breed of spending groups changing the way campaigns are being lost and won. there is already turning out to be the most expensive of presidential races. and the super pacs are bringing
it to a whole new level, so it going to be an issue of whoever raise ts the most in super pac money has the greatest advantage. >> >> the primaries we have seen that play out. mitt romney has been able to more or less cut newt gingrich's approval rating in iowa in half after an enormous barrage of negative ads were almost entirely finded by the super pac, not by the campaign. every year, every cycle we tend to have more money spent on campaigns than before. the difference is, in the past, most of that more money was coming in $2300, $2400 checks bundled together. now you have the ability of a billionaire to write, you know, on a tuesday, ai $5 million check and that money will go to a television station on a wednesday. it can radically transform the race. >> and straight ahead, so many months on the campaign trail, the contenderes say some things that just make you smile. sometimes laugh. it's the little things in life that make me smile.
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political campaigning is serious business. but there are humorous moments on the trail. here is cnn's candy crowley with some highlights. >> on this week's installment of trail mix, we wanted to walk on the light side. random moments, corn ball comments that defy explanation. they made for endless entertainment and serve as reminders that politicians are people too. did you hear the one about the candidate who was running late for a campaign event? >> there's a lot of traffic out
here. i'm really pleased that so many folks remembered to meet with us. we're just making the turn now on the road and as soon as we do, why, we'll there be pretty quick. >> i'm doing a science project on germs. how many hands do you shake every day and how often do you wash your hands? >> did my wife put you up to that? where is it? do you have it? purell. >> i want to be the president who embarks on a grateful dead-like concert tour around this country. and harness is the passion of the american people in getting it done. >> i wish i could drive one of these here. but my son had a motorcycle, which i would ride on occasion, rarely. >> can you get on one? >> no. maybe with a helmet. dukakis style. >> i thought this lady had her hand up over here, but just kidding you. she does.
best question i'll get, right? >> ten months of campaign moments to go. fred? >> thanks so much, candy. watch candy crowley every sunday morning. she's the host of "state of the union" 9:00 a.m. eastern time. let's look at where the candidates just might be this week. president obama will be traveling on thursday. he'll be speaking about the economy to a group in orlando, florida. and then he'll head to new york for some campaign events there. and then next saturday is the south carolina primary. so most of the contenders will be spending their time in south carolina all week long. be sure to tune in to cnn thursday night to hear the candidates in their own words. the cnn southern republican leadership conference debate comes your way thursday night, 8:00 p.m. eastern time. so much for tuning into to this special hour of politics. join us every sunday at 4:00 eastern time. stay here for the latest news right here in the "cnn newsroom."
and in just -- sorry about that, one passenger apparently as a result of the italian cruise ship that ran aground said she thought she might die. others told us at first that the crew said there were a few problems, but then reality set in. survivors describe the sheer panic as people rush to get off the boat. >> everything was fine. they said there were electrical problems but then that their technicians were sorting it out and we should be fine in no time. >> the gentleman that was getting the cabins ready for the evening, he kept saying, he said repeatedly to the people, he said no problems. small technical difficulty. no worries. no worries. go to your cabin. no problem. so we went into our cabin and prepared to get ready for bed. >> the crew didn't really act like it was a big deal. and then it tilted a lot more and that's when people started to freak out. also the lights went out. >> there were passengers trying to help. there was chaos. i think they we